Blue Springs Florida State Park
2100 West French Avenue
Orange City, Florida 32763
My husband, Mother and I went to this Florida State Park recently to enjoy a day of fun in the sun!
The drive leading up to the springs is very peaceful. No gas stations and restaurants. Just small houses and trees. But the serenity doesn’t stop there.
You pay $6.00 for a car load to get into Blue Springs. From there you can choose from two parking lots. The first will lead you to the main lounging area and the second is closer to the Main house (the home of the original settlers) and hiking area.
A Few Things You Should Know Before You Go to Any of the State Parks in Florida
1.) Get There Early
If you decide to visit this Florida State Park on a weekend my best advice is to get there before 10am. Otherwise you may find yourself locked out. This goes for all state parks/
The parks only allow so many people to enter at a time. This way they can keep a handle on things.
Blue Springs opens at 8am and closes at sundown (which in the summer can be as late as 8pm) every day of the year.
If you get there early enough you’ll have no problem getting in. If you choose to wait until noon you may be in for a surprise. We left Blue Springs around 2pm on a Sunday. While we were pulling out we saw a line of about 20 cars waiting to get in.
If you want to avoid the Orlando traffic all together try visiting this Florida State Park on a weekday. That way you will not run into all the locals going to the springs.
During the summer the weekdays are even busy. Go early or late (after 3pm) to ensure you don’t have to wait to get in.
The best part about getting there early is you get your choice of where you would like to set up your picnic. There’s a nice big grassy area that you can lounge in. Don't forget to bring a chair or a blanket to sit on.
Or, you can grab one of the picnic tables for your day of fun at Blue Springs.
2.) Pack a Lunch
The best part about hanging out at the springs is being able to hang out for a long time. You’ll want some food eventually. So I suggest packing some sandwiches and other lunch items to snack on throughout the day.
There’s a store that you can buy some hot food from but it isn’t always open. If you decide to leave to get lunch you may not get back in. Besides it’s a lot of fun to set up a picnic outside and enjoy the company of your family.
3.) Wear Sun Screen
You may think that because the water is cold (a constant 72 degrees) that you will not get burnt...well think again! The Florida sun is brutal and you’ll find this out if you don’t heave my warning.
4.) You Can’t Swim in the Springs During Certain Times of the Year
*The spring and spring run is closed to all water related activities including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and boating from November 15 through March 1.*
This’s so the manatees can roam around in peace. You can go there and see them in their natural wonder. They’re out in the mornings when they feed and they lay around on the banks in the afternoon.
The warm water (warm for them, freezing for us!) bring these animals here. They stay for a couple of months and then go back to where ever they came from.
Even though you can't swim with them it's still really neat to see these beautiful creatures in all their glory!
You cannot swim with them or touch them. Although you may be close enough to do so, it’s not advised. The Florida State Park rangers are very strict and they look down upon disturbing the manatees.
More Fun Things to do at Blue Springs Florida State Park
Blue Springs has a ton of fun things to do besides just swimming. You can rent a canoe and check out the sites while staying dry.
Unfortunately, the area that you’re allowed to have boats in is not very large. You could probably row from one end of it to the other in about five minutes. But at least it would be something different to do.
You could pay to go on a river boat tour of Blue Springs State Park. They’ll take you out and show you all the sites. The boats go out at a desiginated times each day. You have to sign up to go out so if that’s something you want to do make sure you set that up first.
There’s also trails that you can follow for a nice little hike. Chris and I decided to do this before jumping in the cold water. It really helped get us nice and sweaty so that the water would be more of a relief instead of a shock.
We saw a ton of cool things while walking the trail. Including some colorful birds, some interesting lizards and even a few burros for unknown creatures.
What About the Swimming?
Once we decided to jump in we saw the water at Blue Springs is crystal clear. Great for snorkeling and scuba diving. If you plan to scuba dive you have to have a licence and check in with the office first.
There’s a cool boil at the end of the Blue Springs run that’s very deep. At first Chris and I couldn’t figure out why the scuba divers would waste there time in the little spring. But once we came upon the hole we realized.
The area that the boil is in is the deepest area you can swim in at this Florida State Park. If you don’t have the proper equipment you will not be able to swim down into it. If you have flippers you’ll be able to check out the opening but not much else.
It’s a very dangerous place if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can do like I did and swim around with you’re goggles and snorkel and enjoy the view. I also swam through the bubbles that were produce by the divers. That was fun!
This’s one of the deepest underwater caves in Florida. If you aren’t certified in cave exploration you will not be able to scuba at this Florida State Park. People have been known to go down alive and not come back up that way.
Once you move away from the boil area you’ll feel the current bringing you back down stream. There are serval large tree trunks in the water which makes for a bumpy ride back to the main swimming area. The branches protrude up through the water. I found myself climbing over them.
You can rent a tube ($5 for the first hour and $2.50 for each hour after that) or bring your own.
We didn’t rent tubes because they charged by the hour (at
you can rent them by the day) but if you have a tube you can just float down the stream while soaking up the sunshine.
Camping in Florida State Parks
You can even
camp at this Florida State park
. The camping areas are a little smaller than normal but they do have access to electrical plug ins, picnic tables and a little room to spread out. Plus running water and a grill area.
There’s restrooms and showers on site. If you decide to camp just make sure to bring the mosquito repellent! If you aren’t the outdoors type you can rent a cabin for the evening.
Blue Springs Florida State Park is a great way to spend the day. Get cooled off by jumping in the crisp water and then enjoy a picnic!
It’s a lot less expensive than other Orlando Florida attractions and a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Orlando. Enjoy your day at the park!